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Facts

Management

The Jost Hurler Group management team:
Dr. Wolfgang Müller, Roland Wüst, Lars Johannsen and Michael Herz (from left to right)

Management

Dr. Wolfgang Müller:

  • Management spokesperson 
  • Field of studies: Business administration
  • With the company since 2010
  • Focus: hr, leasing, financing, communication, marketing

Management

Roland Wüst:

  • Field of studies: civil engineering
  • With the company since 2011
  • Focus: Project development

Management

Lars Johannsen:

  • Field of studies: Architecture
  • With the company since 2003
  • Focus: Project development, obtaining planning permission

Management

Michael Herz:

  • Field of studies: Business administration
  • With the company since 2004
  • Focus: commercial affairs

PROPERTY INFORMATION

Urban quarter:

  • Schwabinger Tor

Modern commercial world:

  • huma Sankt Augustin
  • huma eleven Wien

Modern hotel world:

  • Seehotel Überfahrt
  • Andaz München
create

People are
important to us

A DISCUSSION WITH THE JOST HURLER GROUP EXECUTIVES DR. WOLFGANG MÜLLER, MICHAEL HERZ, LARS JOHANNSEN AND ROLAND WÜST ABOUT THEIR OVERALL APPROACH TO PROJECT DEVELOPMENT AND PORTFOLIO MANAGEMENT AND THE SPECIAL FEATURES OF BEING A FAMILY BUSINESS.

 

How has the Jost Hurler company developed over the years and what are its current focuses and fields of activity?

DR. WOLFGANG MÜLLER Originally, the company was established in the trade sector. In 1982, our company founder Jost Hurler changed his strategy. He sold the commercial business and leased the correspondingproperties long-term. These returned to the company in 2009 in need of renovation. This is where project development came into focus as a field of activity. Today we can map the entire value-added chain for a property and focus on urban mixed-use properties, as well as the retail and hotel sectors. We believe that our house is built on two cornerstones: “Keeping and managing stock” and “Project development”.

ROLAND WÜST We are project developerswho have previously focused our development activities on properties for our own stock, in line with our company history. It was and remains important to us to look at the entire life cycle of a property. We develop properties so that they can be operated long-term in a useful and economic way. We therefore bundle together our experience from project development and subsequent operation of a property. We integrate this experience into the conception and planning stages for a building, meaning that we can use different focuses for our projects than classic investors.

LARS JOHANNSEN We want to develop sustainable value. Value that remains with the Jost Hurler Group in the long term and is managed and increased there. This attitude starts with the project idea, the planning vision that acts as the main tool for obtaining planning permission. Development continues with the project architecture, preparation and ongoing optimisation, until the property is complete. The process is supported and managed until handover and subsequent operation.

We’re creating spaces with high dwell time and quality of stay IN WHICH people feel at ease and are happy to stay. LARS JOHANNSEN

MICHAEL HERZ In line with the company group’s chosen business model, the “two cornerstones model”, in-house operation of our own portfolio of properties forms a major component and basis for the future development of the company group. Throughout the entire feasible value-added chain, this in-house operation is based on our own company’s image and objective of maintaining and adding to the value of properties in the long term in close partnership with users. This does not mean that we carry out every specific service associated with operation ourselves, but we have the ability to react immediately to any challenge or problem.

 

What is the relevance of the fact that the Jost Hurler Group is a family business?

L. J. We consider ourselves to be a big team closely associated with the values of the family and their objectives. Constant contact with all the shareholders allows us to implement optimisation measures regularly, thanks to joint discussion, weighing up pros and cons and making final decisions together. This close contact means that a high level of mutual trust builds up, creating a solid and reliable basis for negotiations. This is very important in terms of both external and internal impact. Each employee feels like a part of this team, this family.

R. W. For me, it’s an invaluable vote of confidence that the owners of this company entrust us with their personal belongings so that we can manage these in trust for them and add value to them for the future. Alongside our financial responsibility,this also means we have a high level of moral responsibility. It is precisely this that motivates most of our actions. Direct feedback or a personal thank-you is highly motivating for any employee. There is a real sense of family.

 

What role do your employees play?

DR. W. M. Our employees are our sources of wisdom and our local spearheads. We do our best to create an environment for them in which they can work creatively. They should feel comfortable, secure and able to be themselves. This is particularly important when it comes to retaining highly qualified people.

JOST HURLER GRUPPE

Established:
1945

No. of employees:
70

Skills:

  • Project development
  • Property management
  • Leasing
  • Facility management

Asset classes/ property sectors:

  • Mixed use (living, working, shopping, food)
  • Commerce
  • Hotel

 

Is that also part of the corporate culture of the Jost Hurler Group?

L. J. There are four aspects at work here: people are always the focus for us. Close cooperation with the shareholders means that we can identify intensively with the company – everyone feels very deeply connected and committed. We also believe it is very important to motivate our highly-qualified employees to explore new things. And most importantly of all: we consider the whole company to be a big team. Our new premises will therefore have a centre, a “marketplace”, where people can meet up and chat. We want to make a sense of togetherness and constructive exchange with colleagues a real part of life at the company, not just keywords on paper.

R. W. All cultures develop and change – including corporate cultures. We believe our own corporate culture is primarily based on actively setting an example. Alongside offering career perspectives and an optimum working environment, we want to ensure employees feel at home together. Above all, we as managers need to set an example and be seen as reliable and authentic partners. Given our relatively flat hierarchies, trust in the actions of our employees and colleagues is absolutely essential.

The deciding factor for urban projects is the combination OF DIFFERENT FUNCTIONS. It’s all about reconciling the wishes of the various users and operators. Roland Wüst

A property portfolio owner has to act differently from someone who is purely a project developer. What are the main differences?

M. H. If a property is to be retained long-term in your own portfolio, short-term success plays less of a role. In such cases, property development is oriented more towards long-term profitability and the most sustainable possible success. Such objectives could also have an impact, for example, on the qualities to be integrated into the building. This reduces long-term maintenance costs and reinvestment requirements.

DR. W. M. When it comes to selling developed properties, most people react to short-term trends that will become relevant in the next three to four years until completion. The situation is different for properties in a portfolio. For example, we wanted tokeep Schwabinger Tor in our portfolio for a long period of time. We therefore needed to position the property so that it would still be successful on the market after several decades. To do so, we look at long-term trends such as  “Sharing”. This positioning also affects use, as we are developing co-working or car-sharing in the quarter. The difference is therefore the long-term nature of the portfolio in comparison to the short-term nature of project development.

L. J. In order for sites to remain attractive for a long period of time, one of the main aims of project development, planning and implementation must be to fill these stages with appealing and attractive content: What makes a site popular and worth living in? What makes people feel at ease? How does person-to-person contact start? How can the site be turned into a destination? Our primary focus when building sites is on people and we want to do our best to integrate their needs and wishes into our plans. This brings with it a high level of responsibility.

 

What does “feeling at ease” actually mean?

R. W. The urban space that has grown over time reflects every aspect of daily life. It incorporates living, working and commercial uses. We are always imposing these complex issues on ourselves, as we feel it is our responsibility not only to create a functioning property, but also to make that property a functioning part of the city itself. New developments often require the incorporation of different types of use, as normal in developed urban areas. Living space, open spaces, work premises, restaurants and commerce – all aspects have to be blended to create a versatile offering.

 

Is this construction project complexity a particular company strength?

DR. W. M. Property developers are normally specialist, either in residential construction, commercial construction or office construction. The more you specialise, the better you can manage possible risks. We are proud that we can handle a wide variety of types of use. This is what makes us different from classic property developers. We are always open to the idea of integrating restaurants, retail sites or hotels into our developments. We can run through our entire repertoire and are not afraid of tackling all the challenges that this brings with it.

 

What is your approach to the different sectors: residential, commercial and hotel?

R. W. The main thing is that our actions are based on the point of view of the eventual users. Based on the experience we have of the various types of use , we can cover a wide range of development , keeping the market wide open for us. We can deal with even the most complex or tricky of projects. Here, we benefit from the wealth of experience offered by the architects, planners and consultants we use. We also call in external service-providers, e.g. market researchers, if we are particularly interested in a certain aspect. We then choose to follow recommendations or not, based on our gut feeling. Our knowledge is therefore based on a mixture of internal know-how and the external knowledge of architects, consultants and others, such as hotel operators.

 

How does communication with operators work?

DR. W. M. Discussions are always at a partnership level. It’s all about understanding the actions and requirements of the operator. An operator cannot develop a property because he/she does not have this know-how – and vice-versa. However, the operator knows how a hotel or shopping centre functions and can tell us what he/she needs in order to manage the property successfully. For us it’s not about doing it all, but understanding it all so that we can put ourselves in the operator’s shoes and incorporate this knowledge into the property.

 

How relevant do you consider current trends to be when developing your projects?

DR. W. M. You always have to think about how long trends will be around for. For us, communication and networking look set to play an even more significant role in future than they do now. Handling new media and opportunities is a major challenge. It’s a vital area that has to be taken into consideration when developing properties. However, the basic trend is clear: we will have networked houses in the future.

R. W. Their long life cycles mean that properties are rarely innovative trailblazers in our society per se, and are unlikely to be so in future. When implementing technical innovations in a property, you therefore need to weigh up the provisional half-life of these technical innovations. In the long term, the technical standard of the property naturally changes accordingly. The technology we use today was a mere pipe dream 20 years ago. However, we don’t react to every short-term trend.

 

The Jost Hurler Group is currently going through a change with a strategic reorganisation. Where will it go from here?

DR. W. M. We are involved in a highly creative process here and it is currently just coming to fruition. The approaching completion of our major construction projects brings with it a wide range of options for shaping the future of our company group. Identifying these and incorporating them into our strategy will be the main challenge for the next year or two.

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